State Auditor shares thoughts on healthcare solutions: Matt Rosendale visits Lewistown

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By: Charlie Denison

Montana State Auditor and Commissioner of Security Matt Rosendale made an appearance in Lewistown last week, attending the Fergus Farm Mutual annual meeting and visiting the News-Argus, where he was interviewed about his thoughts on health care in Montana.

The former legislator from the Glendive area is working with the federal government to make some changes to the current healthcare plan.

“I’m not asking for a lot of things,” Rosendale said. “I’m more requesting barriers be removed so we can develop our own policies, plans and programs.”

Rosendale said he wants to see insurers offer a basic insurance plan that’s cost-effective, reasonably priced and available for a much broader range of people, and he wants to see a product developed that more people want to purchase…

At the end of the day, Rosendale said he’d like to see the cost curve go down for the actual services people are receiving. This can be done, he added, through transparency and incentivizing shopping for options.

“Senate Bill 96, sponsored by Cary Smith (R-Billings), mandates transparency through the insurers and through the providers, and it puts a provision in there to incentivize people to actually shop around and find better prices.”

Rosendale said there is much support for transparency on both sides of party lines, but that’s not the case with incentives.

“Let’s put it this way: the governor doesn’t have the confidence in the free market system that I do,” Rosendale said…

Another issue Rosendale has with the ACA is the amount of authority it gives the Government. He would prefer less government and more options.

“I don’t think the government – whether state or federal – should be coming in and saying, ‘Here is what you need to sell. I know better than you what product you need to be selling.’ That is not how to improve the quality or the price of any service. You allow the marketplace to identify what consumers want, and they will speak very clearly and very loudly.”

And Rosendale believes the people have spoken, and they do not want this current health plan.

“I’ve had people tell me their insurance premiums went up so far they can’t pay them anymore,” Rosendale said. “They have to make a decision between paying their mortgage or paying their health insurance. That is unacceptable to me.”

Rosendale said he wants Montanans to have a choice, and he will fight for them.

“People have to have the freedom to select a health care system that respects their budget, their personal health care needs and their personal choices,” he said. “Everybody’s choices are going to be different, but they need to be empowered. It’s not up to me as an elected official to tell them how to address their needs.”

Read more at the Lewistown News-Argus